While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples
and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "No," they told him, "we haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
"Then with what [baptism] were you baptized?" he asked them. "With John's baptism," they replied.
Paul said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the One who would come after him, that is, in Jesus."
On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak with [other] languages and to prophesy.
Now there were about 12 men in all.
Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things related to the kingdom of God.
But when some became hardened and would not believe, slandering the Way in front of the crowd, he withdrew from them and met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands,
so that even facecloths or work aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them.
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!"
Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
The evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize-but who are you?"
Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded.
This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices,
while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value, and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.
In this way the Lord's message flourished and prevailed.
When these events were over, Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem. "After I've been there," he said, "I must see Rome as well!"
So after sending two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed in the province of Asia for a while.
During that time there was a major disturbance about the Way.
For a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen.
When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said: "Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business.
You both see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost the whole province of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods!
So not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin-the very one whom the whole province of Asia and the world adore."
When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
So the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's traveling companions.
Though Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him.
Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to take a chance by going into the amphitheater.
Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
Then some of the crowd gave Alexander advice when the Jews pushed him to the front. So motioning with his hand, Alexander wanted to make his defense to the people.
But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a united cry went up from all of them for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
However, when the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, "Men of Ephesus! What man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great Artemis, and of the image that fell from heaven?
Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash.
For you have brought these men here who are not temple robbers or blasphemers of our goddess.
So if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a case against anyone, the courts are in session, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
But if you want something else, it must be decided in a legal assembly.
In fact, we run a risk of being charged with rioting for what happened today, since there is no justification that we can give as a reason for this disorderly gathering."
After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.